craig t nelson bonnie bedelia waiting room parenthood 'Parenthood' final season Emmy watch: Craig T. Nelson in 'The Waiting Room'

Over five seasons, “Parenthood” has been as good as anything on television. The storylines of the little show that could may not be as flashy as making meth, raising dragons or winning Lady Mary’s heart, but it has deftly explored the struggles and complexities of the Braverman family through good writing and even better performances. This is Zap2it‘s Emmy campaign for a show that has been criminally ignored by the awards shows, in the hopes it can pull a “Friday Night Lights” and get some recognition for its final season. 

The Waiting Room’ MVP: Craig T. Nelson

Craig T. Nelson doesn’t get much screen time in Thursday’s (Oct 9) “Parenthood” episode, but he does enough in the short time before Zeek Braverman heads in for open heart surgery that he earns this week’s MVP narrowly over Bonnie Bedelia. Zeek’s conversation with Camille in the hospital room the day before surgery is the first real tear-jerker moment of the episode. Combined with reluctantly giving his wedding ring to her as they roll him to the operating room, it is enough to make anyone emotional in a snap. 

For the entirety of “Parenthood’s” run, Zeek has been the stoic matriarch who is proud of his children in the good times and serves as a wall to lean on in the bad times. Before this episode, he never let anyone see him be sad or scared or emotional in almost any way, which makes the cracks in the facade here all the more astonishing to see. 

Nelson plays Zeek’s worry perfectly every step of the way. His attempts to contain his emotions and his assurances that everything will go smoothly while not being as confident as he might like are only a few things that make up Nelson’s masterful performance here. To top it all off, he does more meaningful emoting with some eyelid flutters and a glance in bed after surgery than some people are able to do with their whole face. 

Watch Nelson in yet another beautiful moment with Mae Whitman’s Amber below. 

Posted by:Whitney McIntosh